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COMMENT





Smackdown: Batista avoids being banished
By ANDY MCNAMARA -- SLAM! Wrestling


The build towards the Night of Champions continues this evening starting with a contract signing that has a huge impact on Batista’s career. A solid mix of matches are on tap, which includes divas squaring off as well as a technical masterpiece between CM Punk and MVP. Be sure to stay tuned for a "giant" main event as well. All this and more is coming at you right now, from Fresno, California!

The show begins with GM Vickie Guerrero in the ring where we will see the official contract signing for Night of Champions between Batista and the world champion Edge. Vickie shows The Animal that Edge has already signed the contract, and then she signs it as well. Guerrero continues to receive major heat from the live crowd. The GM says she added one more amendment to the contract stating that Batista must defeat The Great Khali tonight in order to be able to face the Rated R Superstar. As The Animal goes to leave, Vickie states that she added one further amendment that has Batista being banished from the WWE if he loses to Khali this evening.

Match 1: Finlay w/ Hornswaggle vs. John Morrison w/ The Miz

Morrison dropkicks Finlay off the apron to the outside, but the Irishman catches the tag champ when he goes for a spring board cross body to the outside. Finlay goes to the second rope when Morrison nails him with a nasty enziguri sending him out to the floor. Morrison is looking technically sound in this match, which I’m sure is a testament to Finlay’s ability as a ring general. The fighting Irishman is distracted when Miz drags Hornswaggle from beneath the ring allowing Morrison to win it with a surprise roll up.

WINNER: John Morrison

In the back Edge is being interviewed, discussing Night of Champions and how the Undertaker was retired. CM Punk interrupts the couple and lets them know that he just might cash in his Money in the Bank during their wedding!

Mark Henry runs down the Big Show and tells the audience to take a look at Big Show's face now (with one black eye), and then shows the other side of the picture of what Show’s face will look like after they fight (two black eyes). Ohhhhhh, scary!

Match 2: Mark Henry vs. Tommy Dreamer

ECW’s Dreamer lands some early blows, however, he is stopped by the brick wall of Henry’s chest. The World’s Strongest Man steps on his foe and bounces him around for a while. Tommy tries to snap on a DDT, but Henry blocks it and turns it into the powerslam for a victory.

WINNER: Mark Henry

In GM Guerrero’s office Vickie is speaking with the wedding planner Alicia Fox when Edge storms in concerned of CM Punk’s earlier threats. MVP then interrupts demanding that Guerrero renegotiates his contract. The general manager says that she will consider his request if MVP can take care of CM Punk.

A recap of Natalya Neidhart grabbing the star to win a shot at the new Diva’s Championship is shown following an impressive double powerbomb.

Match 3: Maryse vs. Cherry

Cherry comes out of the gate hot by mounting Maryse and laying in some heavy right hands. The French Canadian beauty feigns an eye injury, but it does not fool Cherry as she connects with a clothesline. Maryse locks in a headlock, but it is Cherry who puts away her rival with an elevated DDT.

WINNER: Cherry

Match 4: MVP vs. CM Punk

A slow start has Punk and MVP exchanging headlocks and various submissions. The crowd is not into this methodical pace although the pair are keeping their manoeuvres tight and crisp. MVP is really working over CM’s left shoulder by throwing him three times into the metal post inside the ring. MVP gets a hold of Punk’s briefcase when the owner of the case is able to drive it into his foe’s head. The referee then turns around, sees the case in CM’s hand, and promptly DQ’s Punk.

WINNER: MVP by DQ

Chavo and Bam Neeley are in the ring where he announces that he will be Edge’s best man at the wedding. Guerrero introduces the man he will face at the pay-per-view for the United States championship, Matt Hardy.

Match 5: Matt Hardy vs. Chuck Palumbo

Palumbo rides out not only with his bike but also sporting a Slash from Guns n’ Roses style top hat -- maybe that will catch on at the souvenir stands. Chavo and Bam are sitting ringside to keep an eye on things. Chucky lays in some hammer fists right off the bat along with clothelining Matt off the second turnbuckle and to the floor. Hardy scores a near fall with a Side Effect, and follows that with a Twist of Fate for the clean win. Chavo makes the announcement that Hardy is a loser after the bell.

WINNER: Matt Hardy

Eve Torres attempts to interview Vladimir Kozlov, however, he answers her in his native Russian tongue.

Match 6: Jesse & Festus vs. Deuce & Domino

Both Deuce and Domino scoot out of the ring to avoid the initial burst of rage from Festus. Jesse begins the bout with Deuce and hits a Lou Thesz Press until his momentum is stopped courtesy of one leg drop kick. Jesse’s forehead is busted wide open as Domino and Deuce tag in and out quickly. Festus is finally unleashed and cleans house. After he slaps his thighs Festus leaps on Domino for the 1-2-3. Deuce and Domino’s tempers explode and they attack one another out of frustration.

WINNERS: Jesse & Festus

Match 7: Main Event - Career Threatening Match: Batista vs. The Great Khali

If Batista wins he faces Edge for the world title at Night of Champions, but if he loses, then he will be banished from the WWE. As good ol’ JR would say this will be a "bowling shoe" of a match -- meaning it will be awful! Edge and Vickie are watching the bout from the top of the ramp. Batista starts off cautiously and tries to focus on Khali’s left shoulder before he receives a big kick that sends him out of the ring. From there it is all about Khali’s plodding offense, which includes a very close two count following a Khali Bomb. The Animal is able to block the overhand chop and then connects with a spear out of nowhere. Batista is able to get the pin, save his career, and will now face Edge for the world heavyweight championship.

WINNER: Batista

Andy McNamara is a SLAM! Wrestling writer, and play-by-play broadcaster for Toronto Maple Leafs inter-county league baseball, along with university basketball and volleyball on Rogers Television in Toronto. You can catch Andy this Sunday at 2pm live on Rogers Cable 10 in Toronto for the Maple Leafs baseball broadcast. Contact Andy at andymcnamara@hotmail.com